i really hated the concept of wifedom. i'd get all spazzy just thinking of the word "wife" and how it seems to inevitably become a title, an occupation, an excuse... even though i know deep in my heart that there is nothing "typical" in the functioning of our relationship (rob probably cooks 60% of the time / i've never done his laundry / we clean the house together / we socialize regularly without one another), i couldn't fight off the fear that becoming a WIFE would change all of that. because, after all, isn't that what everyone claims? that being married changes everything? i didn't know how i was going to be able to move on and really, truly commit to rob. i mean, we had lived together, bought a house together, discussed and agreed that we were in it for the long haul, and would stop running away and quitting when shit got ugly. or boring. or lonely. we agreed to stick it out and really, really work to be together; choose to be together. so WHY couldn't i stand the thought of marriage??
i spent hours trying to solve this riddle with my closest of friends; i made a little bit of progress. i witnessed my best friend's wedding and confirmed six months later that nothing, in fact, had changed in her relationship after said nuptials; i felt a little better. i discovered the blog a practical wedding and quickly found that i wasn't the only woman on the planet to feel this way - so much so that there is an entire section for reclaiming wife; i saw a light at the end of the tunnel! i kept reading; i started feeling brave enough to form my own opinions. i read committed, a gift from my best friend that worked wonders on my brain. i read more APW posts about forming baby families (whether or not actual babies are involved). i learned about infidelity, betrayal, doubt and loss; i learned about strength, commitment, compromise and joy. ...all the while, paying very very close attention to my reactions and their reasons, and what thought processes i could adjust to change that fighting feeling. i did all of this because i wanted to. even though my brain felt like it was on another planet, my heart wanted very much to marry rob. not because everyone thought we should, not because society told us we had to, and certainly not just so that he could be on my health insurance plan. i wanted the reason for us to get married to simply be that we wanted to.
oh, and i should mention that all through this, rob patiently waited. even though he didn't fully understand my need to work through the concept of marriage, he never rushed me. occasionally, my guilt rushed me. and in those moments, we would talk about marriage, weddings, and our relationship. these conversations always ended the same: rob telling me to take my time, that he would wait forever to marry me. and guess what? eventually, the absence of pressure - from rob - pushed me through the last hesitation. i was finally ready.
and then i waited.
i had considered proposing to rob. it made sense. he was the one waiting for me; i was the one holding things up. so i should do the dirty work, right? except i knew that it was something that he (sort-of) wanted to do. in our conversations, numerous things had come up regarding marriage or weddings where i would say, "oh, no - that's not going to happen!" and he would need a day to process, and then accept, my declaration. like me not taking his name. it wasn't that it offended him; he had just always imagined that i would. somehow one of those conversations included thoughts on the actual proposal - and the fact that he had thoughts on the proposal. i decided to let him have this one. i mean, you can't take a boy's dream of his wedding/marriage away from him! so i sat back, trying to reassure rob that i really, really meant it, while his best friend urged him to hurry before i beat him to the punch (unaware of my scrapped plan to do so). finally, while on vacation in february, "it" happened (maybe i'll share that story another day).
i was not prepared for the excitement i would feel upon being officially engaged to marry my best friend (in case you know, and are counting - yes, rob is best friend #3 featured in this story). i was not prepared for the joy it brought our families, especially that of my pappap, who virtually giggled, hugged me numerous times and held my hand for hours after i delivered the news. i had no idea i would feel so at peace with the beginning of the planning process or that i would want to be really, really considerate of our friends and family that would be included along the way.
what i know is that i'm so glad that i took my time.